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Report: Kentucky Thoroughbred Deaths Surpassed National Average In 2018

Posted at 5:27 AM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 07:28:55-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WAVE 3)– Thoroughbreds dying from injuries experienced on Kentucky tracks has surpassed the national average, according to new data released from 2018.

Experts say rain could be a factor in the the deaths of a few dozen thoroughbreds last year in the Bluegrass.

Veterinary reports from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission showed 36 thoroughbreds died of injuries received during a race on Kentucky tracks in 2018. That’s up from 20 the previous year.

Safety experts are trying to get ahead of these rapidly growing numbers, but they think changing weather patterns could be to blame.

Experts say frequent rain could produce changes deep within a track, leading to inconsistencies on the surface and that is causing more injuries.

It’s a situation that many are asking questions about, but there is no immediate answer.

“From a surface standpoint, we’ve got to get better at controlling variability on these tracks,” said Michael Peterson, the director of UK Ag Equine Programs. “And that will be a part of the puzzle moving forward.”

Kentucky is not the only state dealing with these problems.

Horse experts from the Bluegrass continue to consult with other tracks around the world, hoping to come up with a solution.